Agriculture needs a makeover to lure young people back to farming



Around the world, farmers are ageing as the sector fails to attract younger talent who head instead to cities in search of work

By Magdalena Mis and Isaiah Esipisu
Thomson Reuters Foundation
22 August 2016


In an urbanising world, city farming has become fashionable in recent years, with urban farms mushrooming from Accra to Mumbai and London.

According to a 2014 study, city dwellers were farming an area the size of the European Union.

But while the trend is welcome, urban farmers won’t be able to feed themselves any time soon, experts say.

“It should be encouraged and supported, and it can be a part of the solution but there is a danger in overemphasising the scope for urban agriculture to feed the cities,” said Suttie.

According to the Washington-based Worldwatch Institute, in 2011 around 15 to 20 percent of the world’s food was produced in urban areas.

“I would caution against seeing (urban farming) as the solution or substitute for scaling up food production and market access in rural areas,” Suttie said.

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